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Chot set to reveal Gilas 12

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The youngsters who composed most of the Gilas Pilipinas roster against the Mindanao All-Stars last night in the start of the PBA All-Star Week were hoping to impress coach Chot Reyes before the 12-man roster for the SEABA Championship is revealed tomorrow.

Reyes fielded a team composed of mostly of PBA rookies who joined the Gilas pool prior to their entry in last year’s PBA draft alongside San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo and GlobalPort ace scorer Terrence Romeo.

Fajardo and Romeo are favorites to make the final 12 for the SEABA tilt May 10 to 19 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The rosters will be announced shortly after the Gilas game with the Luzon selection at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

Reyes is expected to field the SEABA roster on Sunday against the Visayas team in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, although Gilas and the PBA have yet to agree on such arrangement.

Rookies Mike Tolomia of Rain or Shine, RR Pogoy of TNT KaTropa, Matthew Wright of Phoenix, Kevin Ferrer of Ginebra, Carl Bryan Cruz of Alaska and Fonso Gotladera of NLEX are surely not treating the first game of the All-Star series as a vacation.

Also determined to catch the attention of Reyes and the rest of the Gilas staff are fourth-year guard LA Revilla of Mahindra and second-year forward Bradwyn Guinto of NLEX.

The game was also an opportunity for Gilas to finally have a feel of playing together as a unit after spending months of having once-a-week practices in Manila. Fajardo, though, was expecting unfamiliarity to play out more in the game held at presstime at the Xavier University gym.

“Siguro mangangapa pa kami sa una dahil yung mga plays di pa namin masyadong kabisado,” said Fajardo. “Pero makukuha rin namin yun.”

Getting familiar with the system was still evident in the final Gilas practice before the All-Star, with assistant coach Jong Uichico presiding over the defensive schemes they would like to see come the SEABA tilt.

“We’ll spend more time on the defensive end. We know we can score, but can we defend consistently,” Uichico said.